Richmond 1904_hero

Football Soundscapes

Each stadium has its own architecture. The gently rising terraces of suburban football grounds or the steep stands of the MCG. Stadium architecture is a response to the size of the field upon which the game is played. Australian football developed in borderless paddocks: and the grounds we have now reflect the early expanses. I wonder: when did the grounds become oval, when was the scoring system developed, entrenched? Behind posts, apparently, were added to the goals in 1866. During the earliest games a round ball was used. A 100 minute time limit was enforced from 1869.The game was initially played by cricketers to stay fit in the off-season: and how quaint this now seems, given the extraordinary athleticism of so many footballers in comparison to relative slowness of cricketers (although that too is changing). And so footy made it onto the turf of the MCG in 1876 and that perhaps entrenched the ovalness of footy fields. But, I wonder if other shapes of fields remained in use. Although footy is ‘Australia’s game’ many of the cricket fraternity regard footy as a little too rough and its fans a little too uncouth. And this too is a generalised cliché: the sport doesn’t define the behaviour of player, supporters.


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